How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

Having your teeth whitened is a blessing for most people, as it allows them to feel more confident in themselves, knowing they don’t have to be embarrassed about their smile anymore. But no teeth whitening procedure is a permanent fix so it’s important to practise good oral hygiene and, where possible, avoid regularly consuming products that stain teeth yellow in order to keep your pearly whites… well, pearly white.

Read on to find out how teeth whitening works and what you can do to keep your teeth whiter for longer.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

There are several options for fixing your smile, from veneers to at-home teeth whitening kits, and each works in a slightly different way, however, professional in-house teeth whitening is the most popular choice for most people. It’s quick and easy, relatively painless, has long-lasting results and can be very affordable. So, how does it work?

In under 60 minutes, your dentist will cover your teeth with a gel composed of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, carefully avoiding your gums to reduce pain, and then expose your teeth to UV light. The UV light will speed up the teeth whitening process, giving you impressive results in a short period of time, so you can leave the dentist’s office with a brand-new smile. It doesn’t have to be expensive either.

If you prefer to whiten your teeth at home, you can pick up a teeth whitening kit from the dental practice where they’ll take an impression of your teeth so you can fill it with the special gel and place it over your teeth at times that are more convenient to you. After just a couple of weeks, your teeth will turn from yellow to shining white.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Can Anyone Have Their Teeth Whitened?

Before you undergo teeth whitening at the dentist or take your teeth whitening kit home, you’ll have an assessment with the dentist to ensure that teeth whitening is both the appropriate treatment for your type of teeth stains and can safely be carried out on your teeth.

There are two types of tooth staining:

  • Extrinsic staining affects the exterior of your teeth and is usually caused by consuming food and drink with colourants that turn your tooth enamel yellow
  • Intrinsic staining affects the inside of your teeth and can be caused by injury, previous invasive dental treatment, medication or smoking

Extrinsic staining is the most easily treated through professional teeth whitening procedures, as it effectively bleaches the exterior of your teeth, while people with intrinsic stains are more suited to other dental work such as veneers. Your dentist will inform you if teeth whitening is the most effective treatment for you in your initial appointment.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Teeth whitening is perfectly safe when done by registered professionals. You should not have your teeth whitened by beauticians or anyone who isn’t a registered dentist because they are not legally permitted to perform these procedures in the UK.

Although teeth whitening is safe, it’s not recommended to everyone, which is why an initial appointment with the dentist to assess your teeth is always necessary. That’s because some people have naturally sensitive teeth, and others have worn away most of the enamel that covers and protects teeth, so the strong chemicals in the gel and the UV light may cause pain within the teeth.

Dentists will be able to examine your teeth to determine how healthy they are and inform you whether it’s safe to perform teeth whitening, and if not, they will be able to recommend other methods of whitening your teeth.

Can Anyone Have Their Teeth Whitened?

How Long Do Teeth Stay White After Whitening?

When you have your initial consultation with your dentist, you’ll be able to discuss which shade of white you would like your teeth to be after the treatment; not everyone wants dazzling white teeth, especially after having yellow teeth for a long time, so many people opt for whiter, yet still natural-looking teeth. What shade of white you have will also affect how long they stay that colour, as bright white teeth may lose their shine quickly, while slightly off-white teeth may look more natural for longer.

However, ultimately, how long your teeth stay white after having a teeth whitening treatment is determined by how you treat your teeth afterwards. Generally, your teeth will stay white after whitening treatment for around 6 months, avoiding food and drinks that stain teeth as well as stopping smoking will enable your teeth to stay white for around 12 months. Similarly, smoking and consuming a lot of products with chromogens, tannins, sugars and acids after teeth whitening will cause your teeth to return to yellow after just a few months.

Excellent oral hygiene will also keep your teeth healthier and whiter for longer, but the first three days after your teeth whitening treatment are the most crucial for maintaining your perfect smile.

Can Anyone Have Their Teeth Whitened?

Teeth Whitening Aftercare

After you’ve had your teeth whitening treatment, your dentist will recommend eating pale and colourless foods for the first three days to avoid quickly restaining your teeth. You should also avoid foods with lots of sugars and acids which can harm your teeth, so eating pizza, burgers, french fries and drinking soda after teeth whitening should be avoided at all costs. Instead, try dairy products, white rice, eggs, bananas, cauliflower, and drink clear water and milk to maintain the whiteness of your teeth.

After those three days, you should generally cut down where possible on the following food and drinks to keep your teeth white:

  • Curry
  • Soy sauce
  • Tomato-based sauces
  • Red wine
  • Tea
  • Coffee

These items are not the only products known to contain chromogens and tannins that cause stains, but they are the most common and likely culprits for turning your teeth yellow, so, while they may be delicious, the less of them you eat and drink, the better for your teeth. You should also avoid smoking to prevent rapid staining of your teeth.

If you have a teeth whitening kit for use at home, you can also follow this advice for the length of your treatment to get the best results. Not drinking coffee for two weeks is difficult for those of us who like to start our day with a dose of caffeine, but you can try other methods to help you start your day brightly such as getting some sunshine and drinking lots of water as soon as you wake up, or have an energy-boost from an apple.

Can Anyone Have Their Teeth Whitened?

Oral Hygiene

The undisputed best way to look after your teeth, keeping them healthy and white, is by practising good oral hygiene. This means brushing, flossing and using mouthwash in the morning, and again in the evening before you go to bed. Brushing helps to remove harmful bacteria and residual food from your teeth, while flossing removes those hard-to-get pieces and disrupts the build-up of plaque in between your teeth, and mouthwash kills the harmful bacteria left on your teeth, tongue and the roof of your mouth.

Some people still have yellow teeth despite brushing and practising good oral hygiene, in which case, they can benefit from avoiding specific food and drink, some of which are listed above, to keep their teeth white. However, many people feel they can’t function without their morning cup of tea or coffee, and we’re not here to tell you to stop eating and drinking everything you enjoy. But many people also don’t know that you can prevent your teeth from being stained by your breakfast beverages by brushing your teeth before you consume them!

Brushing your teeth as soon as you wake up removes the bacteria that has been thriving in your mouth overnight and protects your tooth enamel from the harmful acids in coffee and the staining tannins found in tea. So if you want to drink tea and coffee without staining your teeth, brush first!

Affordable Teeth Whitening – Didsbury Dental Practice

At Didsbury Dental Practice, we want to help people regain their confidence by giving them back their smile. Book your teeth whitening treatment or pick up your at-home teeth whitening kit today!

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